The International Cricket Council has announced its regional winners and global nominees for its 2020 Development Awards, celebrating the work of the game’s 92 Associate Members in growing the game of cricket around the world.
With the advent of social media and streaming boosting the profiles in the emerging game, Associate Members have driven the popularity of cricket through live action and smart digital engagement.
The ICC has announced award winners for Africa, Americas, Asia, East-Asia Pacific, with the global winner of the Development Awards decided by an elite awards panel, and to be announced across the governing body’s channels later this month.
Here are the regional winners and global nominees for the Development Awards’ Digital Fan Engagement of the Year.
Digital Fan Engagement of the Year: This Award acknowledges the outstanding innovative use of digital platforms, campaigns or technology by an Associate Member to drive engagement with fans and the wider community during the year.
East Asia-Pacific – Vanuatu Cricket Association
With a world desperate for live sport, and Vanuatu effectively Covid-free, the VCA launched the T10 Blast in May and June, showcasing the country’s cricket to the world. Between a Women’s T20 final and the new three-team men’s competition, millions flocked to weekend streams from around the globe, enjoying tight finishes and competitive cricket from the Pacific.
Over the course of the tournament, VCA had a total of almost 30 million impressions across Facebook, and was featured in more than 700 articles across the digital space.
The Ifira Sharks took out the Blast by 33 runs, in front of over a million views across the tournament’s streams.
Americas – USA Cricket
The #TrainAtHome campaign, launched by Burt Cockley and USA cricket, focused on fitness sessions and cricket skills-based drills that could be completed inside while staying isolated in lockdown. Players and fans of all ages could test themselves against an international-standard training regime, benefitting from the informative lessons.
The campaign reached two million people across various social media platforms, with almost 32,000 content interactions across the 15-video programme.
Europe – Jersey Cricket Board
Created to further build the junior player pathway in Jersey, the Fairway Super Series was launched in July as a four-team T20 tournament, with teams selected by a draft process.
Coached by Jersey Men’s team players, the twelve matches provided competitive entertainment on the island, with match highlights cut and edited in-house and published across social media. Among the thousands of views across match packages, the competition built on the JCB’s digital outreach through a strong tournament social media campaign, with a total of almost 60,000 impressions.
Simulating a T20 franchise event akin to several tournaments established around the world, the tournament secured partnerships with charities affiliated to teams, with players in turn given an insight into the work done by the organisations.
Africa – Cricket Namibia
Maintaining a well-kept strategy across multiple platforms, Cricket Namibia achieved strong numbers in the digital space across 2020, capitalising on its on-field achievements and growth in profile.
Off the back of their Associate Men’s Performance of the Year at WCL2 in 2019, Namibia launched a two-month campaign of radio and social media messages, highlighting game development and the progress of cricket in the country.
Over 250,000 people were reached during the campaign from July to August, with several commercial partners signed on as future sponsors at the conclusion of the campaign.
Asia – Kuwait Cricket
For a country of 4.3 million people, Kuwait Cricket’s mission in 2020 was to boost the awareness of the game, with a look to the 1.5 million residents in the country being expats from Full Member Nations. To achieve this, KC brought in the services of a digital media company through a sponsorship program, providing engaging and up-to-date content to grow its profile through targeted campaigns.
The campaigns across several KC projects led to platform of over 20,000 fans on Facebook, with a reach to almost 6.3 million people. As a result, sponsorship numbers and prospective deals have grown, with national team players now receiving corporate backing and junior players benefitting from positive public exposure.
The global winner of Digital Fan Engagement of the Year will be announced later this month.
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